Effects winter can have on your ostomy

Living with a stoma

Hear from Sarah our Clinical Advisor

From A Bigger Life

We’re in the season of winter and it got us thinking about what particular problems ostomates may experience in winter, like managing your stoma or how you store your equipment.

Drying effect on your equipment
People tend to have the heating on more in the cold weather. It’s worth thinking about where you store your equipment, if you have it close to a radiator it might have a drying effect on the adhesive if the the pouches are loose out of the box.

Also, if you have seals and sprays the heat may affect them. So maybe think about moving your equipment to a cooler area away from a radiator.

Drying effect on your skin
Winter can have a drying effect on your skin as a whole, and there is the potential that it will cause the skin around your stoma to be drier than normal. You could try using a protective wipe or ensuring there is a bit of moisturising lotion within your adhesive remover spray to keep your skin in much better condition.

Warm up your pouch
If your pouch is particularly cold you might have to warm up your pouch before applying. Some pouches react better whenever they are warmed, maybe put it in your pocket or put it under your arm before changing your pouch to warm up the adhesive a little bit.

Do you notice the output colder in your pouch? Especially people with a urostomy. Is the urine cold when the weather is colder outside? A pouch cover could help instead of having cold urine against your skin.

In cold weather we have to wrap up warm with more layers. If a leak occurs would you have trouble identifying it because you have so many layers of clothing? It might help to be vigilant ensuring you’re more aware of the clothing that you are putting on so it’s not so restrictive around your pouch to prevent any problems from happening.

It’s important to keep an eye on your weather forecast if you order your supplies on a monthly basis or every two weeks. If there’s snow forecast with a risk that a delivery driver can’t get to your house or the supplies won’t come to your pharmacy on time, be prepared. Have a look at what you need and if there is a risk of bad weather coming, order plenty of supplies in advance so you’re not panicking if the snow does come.

How do you manage the winter season? Head over to our community and join the conversation with other ostomates here.

Winter Infographic

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